Man who crashed mate’s car before setting it alight sent to jail for 10 months

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A St Clair man who caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage has been jailed for 10 months.

Callum Sutherland was sentenced to 10 months behind bars with a four month non-parole period last Thursday, after pleading guilty to damaging property and stealing and setting fire to his mate’s car.

Penrith Local Court heard Sutherland caused more than $25,000 worth of damage when he entered a construction site at Erskine Park on February 2 and proceeded to graffiti machinery before smashing windows and damaging the cabins and fuel tanks.

Magistrate Brian van Zuylen was scathing of his behaviour, telling Sutherland’s solicitor he regarded it as “appalling”.

“He could have financially ruined some other family,” he fumed, noting the owner of the machinery “could have gone broke waiting for the insurance”.

“I have utter appalling contempt for people who do this type of thing,” he added.

On another occasion, Sutherland went to a Colyton address at the invitation of a friend, and when the man fell asleep in the early hours of the morning, stole his car. But the joy ride went horribly wrong when the Holden Commodore collided with the gutter, damaging the tyres and wheels.

Rather than return the vehicle and pay for the damage, Sutherland used a cigarette lighter to set the car alight before sending a confessional text to his friend.

“I’m so f**king sorry”, it read. “I burnt the car so you could get insurance but you can charge me if ya want.”

He said: “It’s a filthy thing to do. I was f**ked up and didn’t know what the f**k I was doing.”

His lawyer told the court Sutherland had little recollection of the offence and was willing to go to rehab to address his cocaine addiction, which he submitted was the “crux” of his offending.

Magistrate van Zuylen noted Sutherland had described his lifestyle at the time as “party mode”.

“Well there’s consequences isn’t there?” he retorted.

He said notwithstanding Sutherland was a person of prior good character, he considered the offences so serious they warranted full-time jail.

He is eligible for release on March 2, 2020.

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